Rising demand for leathergoods brands such as Hermès and LVMH is a positive sign for the luxury leather sector, but it can turn into a thorny problem when there are not sufficient qualified, skilled craftsmen to make the bags and fulfill the orders.
This is a problem being faced by many famous brands in France and Italy as they struggle to keep pace with the growing flow of orders they are receiving. Only skilled craftsmen can make luxury leather bags that boast price tags of hundreds if not thousands of euros. The solution has been for brands such as Hermès to set up their own training centres.
In France, this has been made possible by the “professional future” law of September, 2018, which allowed private companies to open their own apprentice training centres (CFA). Hermès therefore jumped at the chance and founded the Hermès School of know-how last September.
“For us, it was obvious,” explains Vincent Vaillant, Hermès human resources director for leathergoods and saddlery. This system allows us to enhance our in-house training, to transmit our know-how and to issue a diploma recognized by National Education.”
Since September 2021, the Hermès School has welcomed a promotion of 35 apprentices selected to train in the trade of saddler-leatherworker and obtain a professional diploma. A further 35 arrived last February to begin their eighteen-month apprenticeship. “We train to meet the growth needs of our workshops,” admits Vincent Vaillant.